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Henry Bird Calfee and Nelson Catlin Yellowstone National Park stereographs, approximately 1871-1881

Identifier: MSS 9007 Series 3

Scope and Contents

Contains 11 black and white stereographs of Yellowstone National Park, taken by Calfee & Catlin in 1870s to early 1880s. These include craters, geysers, landscapes, mountains, and rivers. The stereographs are on orange, pink, and mostly yellow backing, and are part of a series called "Views of the Wonderland or Yellowstone Park," which consists of at least 148 stereographs.


  • approximately 1871-1881


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Access

Condition restricted. Items kept in cold storage; access requires 24 hours advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Henry Bird Calfee was born in May 1847 in Kentucky to Henry Calfee and Margaret E. Cannon. He came to the Montana territory in 1870 and visited Yellowstone in 1871. Since then, from circa 1871 to the early 1880s, he spent each summer at the park taking pictures, in which he accumulated at least 295 photographs.

During the 1870s, he formed a partnership with Nelson Catlin, of which most of the photographs were taken. They ran a photographic business from Bozeman, Montana. Calfee began photographing Yellowstone between 1871 to 1874. He and Catlin maintained an active presence in Yellowstone. Their stereographs indicate they helped name several geographic features, and interacted with many migrating parties. During 1881-1882, Calfee gave lecture tours with W. W. Wylie to promote Yellowstone Park, and his photos were included in Wylie's 1882 guidebook, titled "Yellowstone National Park, or The Great American Wonderland." Calfee focused on geysers and sold them to visitors. He married Kate Latus in Missoula County, Montana on June 13, 1885. He died on February 19, 1912 in Bozeman, Gallatin, Montana.

Biographical / Historical

Nelson Catlin was born circa 1848 in New York. Little is known of him except that his name appears on many Calfee stereographs. These were printed with the squib "Calfee and Catlin" and were part of the series known as "Views of the Wonderland or Yellowstone Park." The partnership was in force during the 1880s in the Bozeman, Montana Territory. The stereographs in this series number 148. Like those of Henry Bird Calfee and Joshua Crissman, Catlin stereographs represent treasures of early Yellowstone days. It is not known whether or not Catlin produced any views bearing his own name alone.


10 folders

Language of Materials